Our beautiful Gerti died in the care of hospice June 26th, 2017, at six twenty-five a.m., with her friend Bart by her side and Rosalyn on her way to be with her. We already miss her.
As you know, her life and work are difficult to summarize, but here are some facts about her: She was raised in a small town in Austria surrounded by mountains. She received her arts degree from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA in 2003. Her studies focused on Performance Art, Installation and Sculpture with an emphasis on "risk taking," "the surprising gift of receiving," and a conscious choice to reuse materials already in circulation.
Following her graduation from SMFA, Gertrude moved to Brooklyn where she launched her brand BergWerk in 2013. The name "BergWerk" is of German origin, reflecting her family past, and the way she mines materials from factories in NYC.
Using beautiful and oddly shaped remnants cast away by the fashion industry, each of Gerti's designs were strategically constructed from single pieces of fabric with no extra cutting, and therefore no extra waste. Bergwerk approached each exclusive rescued piece of fabric with a fresh purpose to best complement the female form and movement through sophisticated stitching and avant garde layering. The results were elegant, futuristic, wearable pieces.
“I am inspired by the city and what it produces," Gerti once said, "and through care and attention each single piece of fabric always transforms into something beautiful -- like magic! It is powerful to not only feel confident and attractive in my designs, but to also know that what you are wearing has a positive history for a positive future.”
Gerti never wanted to be defined by illness, and her talents were never restricted by it. She saw fashion potential in blue hospital gowns.
Gertrude was so fun and she would just see a person or a thing when we were walking down the street and be entranced by his/her/it's beauty. It re-mapped my brain when I walked around with her...and we'd always meet new people and see new things even in the most familiar places.
I lost touch with her when she stopped practicing macrobiotics. I felt bad like maybe she thought I didn't approve, but it wasn't true, I just wanted her to be happy and if possible, healthy. I've missed her for a long time.